The government through the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology has vowed to prioritize science and research to ensure that there is economic diversification going forward. Outgoing President Seretse Khama Ian Khama made this revelation when delivering his speech during the occasion of the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) at Palapye last Saturday. “The graduates will lead us in this regard ensuring that there is economic diversification going forward in the country through your creativity and innovation,” an ever optimistic Khama said in his guest speech during the conferment of the Class of 2017 over the weekend. In his usual jovial mood, Khama added: “This event reminds me of the future that we are seeking to build as a nation. It is our desire to achieve prosperity for all by 2036, as inscribed in our long term Vision 2036.” Khama said the bold step that the government of Botswana took to establish this institution in this part of the country is a testimony to the country’s commitment to taking developments to different parts of the country and people thereby fostering prosperity for all.
“It also demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that science and research are a priority, as well as our resolve towards ensuring that there is economic diversification going forward, since you, the graduates will lead us in this regard through your creativity and innovation,” he said. The former Botswana Defense Force (BDF) commander expressed optimism that BIUST, together with other developments being undertaken in Palapye, will continue to add to the transformation not only in Palapye but also the neighboring villages as well.
As much as delivery of research and teaching is BIUST’s core business and main preoccupation, Khama supplicated with the institution to certainly find time to undertake community service that will influence the mindset of all. “You (BIUST staff) should certainly find time to undertake community service that will influence the mindset as well as impacting upon the lives of the ordinary people in Palapye,” encouraged Khama. As Botswana moves to the next level of a knowledge-based economy, Finance and Economic Development Minister Kenneth Matambo prioritized research and science when presenting the 2018/19 budget estimates in parliament recently. “The Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology is allocated the fifth largest share of P4.75 billion or 10.5 percent of the ministerial recurrent budget,” said Matambo. Matambo said the budget for Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology will mainly cater for tertiary student scholarships and subventions to University of Botswana (UB) and Botswana International University of Science and Technology.